By Paul Wanecski
The Buffalo Bills have a new stable of running backs….wait…did I say new…sorry, I meant they have resigned basically everyone they had last season minus Mike Tolbert and Joe Banyard. In the last few days the team has filled the position going into the draft, meaning that the running back position is falling and falling off the board for the Bills. What could this be a sign of?
The Bills might not love that many players at the position this year and that is a shame because there is some good talent on the board. Clearly Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice were never going to be options for the Bills but players like Kalen Ballage, Ronald Jones II, Royce Freeman are all great value near the end of the 3rd round if they are still available. Currently under contract, the Bills now have LeSean McCoy, Chris Ivory, Marcus Murphy, Travaris Cadet (thrilled to see him back), and Taiwan Jones. They now have just as many running backs on the roster than when they entered training camp last year. Could they still draft someone? Perhaps but the outlook is more and more unlikely that they draft any running backs this year and will instead look to add only one in the undrafted free agent market once the draft concludes.
These moves speak to a larger picture; developing a quarterback. Adding in young blood to such a critical position in the Bills offense could slow down the maturation of AJ McCarron or any QB they bring in. Not to mention, last season Travaris Cadet was lightning in a bottle when he got the opportunity to play. His injury was clearly a major blow to a career on the rise so it will be exciting to see if he can recapture that explosiveness. Let’s not forget the Bills are no strangers to adding RBs off the street. Cadet was added when Taiwan Jones was lost for the season in 2017. Mike Gillislee in 2015 was released by the Cardinals and the Bills added him to the practice squad a few weeks later only to promote him to the 53-man roster the next month.
If last year showed us anything, it was that this organization seems to have a pretty good gauge on finding veteran talent that can fit scheme. Perhaps that is a key term to focus on as we move into the future. Veteran.